Create Your Own Stylish Checkerboard Patterned Vase

Create Your Own Stylish Checkerboard Patterned Vase
Table Of Content

Materials Needed for Making a Checkerboard Vase

A fun DIY home decor project is creating your own checkerboard patterned vase. With just a few supplies, you can make a stylish vase perfect for displaying faux or fresh flowers. The visual interest of the geometric checkerboard design also makes this handmade vase an attractive decorative accent all on its own.


The first thing you’ll need is clay. Polymer clay or air-dry clay both work well for this project. Opt for white clay so the colors of the checkerboard design stand out. You’ll also want clay that is moldable but still holds its shape, allowing you to sculpt the basic vase form.

Acrylic Paint

Once your vase is sculpted, you’ll need acrylic paint in two colors to create the checkerboard pattern. Black and white paint creates a classic checkered look, but you can opt for other color combinations like black and red or blue and white. Be sure the acrylic paint adheres well to clay surfaces.


To paint on the checkerboard design, you’ll need a few small paintbrushes. Look for brushes with thin, fine tips and tightly bound bristles to handle the detail work. Having a couple of different brush sizes allows you to easily fill in larger checkered squares or outline smaller checks as desired.


Once decorated, seal your finished checkerboard vase with a clear acrylic sealant or glaze suitable for clay. This helps protect the paint and gives your handmade vase a smooth, finished look. A gloss or matte sealant will also lend an attractive sheen.

Sculpting the Vase

Start your checkerboard vase project by sculpting a simple rounded vase form. If using polymer clay, shape and smooth your vase right away then bake it in the oven to harden. For air-dry clay, sculpt your vase, allow it to fully dry and harden for a few days, then paint.

Form the Base

Fashion the bottom few inches of your vase wider to create a solid base so your piece stands upright. Shape the bottom into a flattened round or square shape - this will be your foundation.

Shape the Body

Next, begin gently pulling upwards, smoothing the clay outward little by little to shape the rounded body of the vase above the base. Work slowly and carefully to achieve an even thickness and symmetrical form.

Define the Lip

Once you near your desired height, taper the opening at the top to define the lip of your vase. Shape the lip wider or narrower depending on your visual preference.

Refine and Finalize

Carefully look over your vase and smooth out any imperfections in the clay. Gently compress spots to remove bubbles or leaks. Refine the shape further if desired.

Painting On a Checkerboard Pattern

After baking or drying, start decorating your clay vase with a bold checkered motif using acrylic paint. Take your time outlining orderly checks and filling them in. The graphic black and white pattern will give your handmade vase artful modern style.

Outline the Checks

Start by using a thin brush to lightly sketch checks across the front and sides of your vase. Create rows with evenly spaced squares for clean, consistent lines. Allow space between checks to define individual squares.

Fill In Alternating Checks

Next, going row by row, use a slightly thicker brush to fill in every other checkered box with one color. Work methodically for best results. Apply two coats to ensure the color is highly opaque.

Fill Opposite Checks

Once the first color is set, take the second acrylic paint color and carefully fill in the remaining unpainted checks. Apply two bold coats. Allow the paint to fully dry between coats for best adhesion.

Outline Checks Again

Finally, use the thin brush to outline every individual check again with black paint. Crisp black lines lend structure and make the pattern pop. Add second outlining coats as desired to make the checkerboard motif highly graphic.

Sealing and Protecting Your Creation

The finishing step for making a long lasting checkerboard patterned vase is to seal your handpainted design under protective acrylic. This keeps the clay from absorbing moisture and helps the paint maintain its colorful vibrancy.

Apply Sealant

Using light brush strokes, coat your entire painted vase with a thin layer of clear acrylic sealant. Choose a formula specially made for sealing craft clay. Allow to fully dry per product instructions.

Add Second Coat

For the best protection, apply a second coat of acrylic sealant following the exact same technique but working in the opposite direction of your first coat. Allow your vase to thoroughly dry once more.

Cure and Polish

If using a water-based sealant, allow 1-2 weeks for full curing before exposing your vase to moisture. Gently buff with a microfiber cloth to polish the finish to a beautiful sheen.

Now your custom checkerboard vase is ready to elegantly display faux florals or fresh-cut stems while lending striking modern style to shelves, side tables, or wherever it’s displayed!


What type of clay should I use?

Polymer clay or air-dry clay both work well. Opt for a white clay so the checkerboard paint colors show up clearly. Choose clay that is moldable but still holds its shape as you sculpt the vase form.

Can I use acrylic paint?

Yes, acrylic craft paint is perfect for creating the checkerboard motif. Be sure to use paint that adheres well to the clay surface. Black and white is the classic combo but try other colors too.

How many coats of paint should I apply?

To make the checkerboard pattern really stand out with opaque, vivid color, apply two full coats of paint to every checker square. Make sure to let the paint dry fully in between coats.

Is there a special sealant for the painted clay?

Yes, be sure to use a clear acrylic sealant formulated specifically for craft clays rather than a standard varnish. This protects the finish and prevents moisture damage over time.

Can this project be done in one day?

If using air-dry clay, allow a few days for fully drying and curing before painting and sealing. Polymer clays cure more quickly in the oven so can be completed faster, but don't rush the painting steps.

Advertisement 1

Advertisement 2

More from DIY and Crafts

How To Make Tumbler Wraps

How To Make Tumbler Wraps

Discover the creative process of making Tumbler wraps, transforming mundane tumblers into pieces of art using the techniques shown by BrightSide Vinyl. Join us to learn more about creating beautiful tumbler wraps.

Unveiling Kirsten Ross Creations: A Deep Dive into DIY Crafts

Unveiling Kirsten Ross Creations: A Deep Dive into DIY Crafts

Explore the unique world of Kirsten Ross Creations – a unique platform for authentic DIY and craft ideas inspired from foxkirsten of Tiktok. Reveal her unexpected approach in this detailed and insightful analysis.

How Orgonite Orgone Generators Work to Balance Positive and Negative Energy

How Orgonite Orgone Generators Work to Balance Positive and Negative Energy

This article explores how orgonite generators are thought to absorb chaotic energies and emit smoothed out, balanced positive energy, as well as the potential benefits of exposure to these subtle energy devices.

The Fascinating Science Behind the Sounds of Kinetic Glass Necklaces

The Fascinating Science Behind the Sounds of Kinetic Glass Necklaces

An in-depth look at how the unique properties of kinetic glass create the melodic sounds produced by glass necklaces, including insights from an artisan who works with this special material.

How to Clean Grout with Blue Toilet Bowl Cleaner - A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Clean Grout with Blue Toilet Bowl Cleaner - A Step-by-Step Guide

Learn how to easily clean grubby grout using an unexpected household item - blue toilet bowl cleaner! This step-by-step guide will show you how to restore dingy grout lines to like-new condition without harsh scrubbing.